Jack Daniel’s collaborates with Coke on new RTDs, IWSR provides context

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On June 13, Brown Forman and The Coca-Cola Company announced a new global relationship, with the classic “Jack & Coke” combination introduced as an RTD cocktail in late 2022.

The new RTD will debut in Mexico as a test market later this year, with “markets around the world” expected to follow.

The Scream contacted Marisa Murray, marketing manager for Jack Daniel’s at Brown-Forman, who said “Australia will be part of the partnership with Coca-Cola”.

However, Murray continued that “we don’t have a confirmed date for Australia yet, but we will follow up on other markets.”

Overall, Murray said she and her team were “very excited to see us bring together two classic icons – Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola – in one RTD”.

This sentiment was echoed by Lawson Whiting, CEO and Chairman of Brown-Forman.

“This relationship brings together two classic American icons to provide consumers with a taste experience they love in a consistent, convenient and portable way.”

“Coca-Cola perfectly complements Jack Daniel’s and our existing RTD offerings, allowing us to accelerate our expansion and continue to grow our business around the world.”

The Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, James Quincey, also expressed his company’s joy at entering into the partnership.

“We are delighted with our new relationship with Brown-Forman and look forward to the introduction of Jack Daniel’s & Coca-Cola.”

The news of the partnership follows Quincey’s suggestions that more RTD cocktails may be on their way to the Brazilian market.

Early indications are that the “world benchmark” ABV will be 5%, although it may vary from market to market. A sugar-free version is also in the works.

IWSR provides the Mexican context

Following the announcement of the “Jack and Coke” partnership, global beverage market analysts IWSR provided an update on why the companies chose Mexico as a test market.

The IWSR identifies that Mexico and Brazil are the two largest markets for alcoholic beverages in South America, and that the established logistics and production networks that Brown-Forman and Coca-Cola possess give the companies an advantage.

While in markets such as Australia and the United States the hard seltzer trend has eaten away at the share of traditional premixed RTDs, the IWSR states that this is not so strongly the case in the Mexican market.

“Most hard seltzer in Mexico is sold along the Mexico-US border and in Mexico City, where American influences and trade are stronger,” the IWSR explained.

In Mexico in particular, RTDs are on the rise, as the IWSR statement puts it: “RTDs have been a permanent feature in Mexico for the past thirty years. The size of the RTD market has almost tripled in the last twenty years and doubled in the last ten.

“RTDs have been growing for years in Mexico, and consumers are always looking for local flavors for refreshing alternatives to beer,” says Jose Luis Hermoso, director of research at IWSR.

“They are proving popular with Mexican drinkers when relaxing during the day and are also strongly associated with online socializing.

“Socializing from home, including virtual dating, is expected to remain popular among Mexicans as the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic fade and retail recovers.”

According to the IWSR, a growing population of young people of legal drinking age and an increasing participation of women in the market should benefit the RDT category in the long term.

Furthermore, while beer accounted for 94% of the total volume of Mexican alcohol in 2021, the IWSR states that: “The growth rate of RTDs between 2021 and 2026 is expected to be double that of beer over the same period. (2% CAGR by volume for beer in Mexico from 2021 to 2026; 4% for RDTs).

The reasons for choosing Mexico as the launch market are therefore somewhat transparent, although with Australia being a traditionally strong market for American whiskey RTDs, it probably won’t be long before these products arrive on these shores.

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